Blond haired naso tang won't eat - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
Mike's Avatar
Blond haired naso tang won't eat

For the first week I had it, our blond haired naso tang would not eat anything at all. It looked alright in the store, but several days later it appeared emaciated and I could see each of its ribs.

I tried breaking up and giving it that red, sponge like angel formula, nori (seaweed), mysis, and live brine shrimp. It had no interest in any of it. I tried soaking the food in garlic extreme and that didn't help, either.

It finally started eating the tips off of this red, plant-like algae I'd bought (pictured below) and it appears to have gained some weight. It still appears to have no interest in the food it's supposed to eat, though. Any ideas?

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post #2 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 02:00 PM
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that red algae is more like a natural diet which in the wild they graze rocks for algae pretty much all day. your fish may very well be right out of the ocean which sadly is the case with tangs as no one breeds them in captivity (atleast to my knowledge)
you said youve tried nori, try rubber banding it to a small piece of live rock, or even an algae clip on the side of the glass. before you put it in take scissors and snip lines into the algae to make multiple flaps/strips. soak it in alittle garlic and put it in the tank. under the "breeze" of a power head it will look like a more natural piece of algae and hopefully catch its interest. you def. want to go with mostly veggu foods as oposed to meatier things. when feeding your other fish it will go for the meaty foods then if it wants them. adding garlic and/or selcon to your foods before hand is a good idea though. alittle garlic goes a long way. its also good to pre-rinse any frozen food/cubes possible prior to feeding in RO/DI or alittle tank water. they can be full of nitrates or phosphates (and possibly other things) and pre-rinsing helps to not introduce these.
just so your aware these fish get huge and do most of their growing within the first year. i would say a 100-150 gallon tank for one at the minimum full of established rock with life to graze on.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
that red algae is more like a natural diet which in the wild they graze rocks for algae pretty much all day.
Yeah, I figured. Do you happen to know what species of algae it is? I'd like to look it up.

I have tried putting the nori in an algae clip on the side of the glass and I've tried soaking it in garlic (garlic extreme) beforehand, but the tang never goes for it. The clown trigger loves it, though. So you think he might be more likely to go for it if I cut it into strips and/or attach it to the rock? I'll give that a shot.

I hadn't known that frozen foods could have nitrates on them that could be rinsed off. In that case, going forward I will definitely rinse off the flash frozen silver sides and other frozen food we feed them before serving them.

The tang is pretty small right now. If he does grow significantly larger then I'll have a compelling justification for getting a larger tank in the future after all. In the meantime, once I get the water quality in order I plan on adding more live rock so there is plenty for him to graze on.

Thanks, Jon.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 02:36 PM
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I know people feed tangs Red Gracilaria but your pic doesn't look exactly like what I have seen. Nasos do get huge ... probably my favorite fish cant wait til the day when I have a massive tank to house one.

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post #5 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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I just called the store I picked it up from and asked and they said it is Red Gracellaria, indeed. Good call, njudson!
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Scratch that - the employee I spoke to at the store just called me back saying it was not Red Gracellaria after all, but agar seaweed, or agardhiella. He said that the fact that, as I explained to him, it was losing its red color in some areas and becoming green meant that it was probably dying and I should take it out of the tank before it becomes asexual and releases spores that may poison the tank and kill my fish.

I'm going take it out as soon as I get home, but I'm really concerned about how the tang will fair without the only food it would eat available. Do tangs ever each cheato? He said that cheato was a type of algae that did not become asexual when it died so that it would be safe.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 07:39 PM
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one way to avoid that is to put it in the sump with a grow light on it 24/7 (CFL low wattage) and but what you need in the DT to feed that way it will grow and you dont have to keep buying it ;)
i am growing some now and after just a week the clump looks fuller !!!

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post #8 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 08:38 PM
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ive never had a tang that ate chaeto. you could keep the sump light on opposite what the tank lights are on too.
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-22-2010, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, guys. I don't have a sump, though. I still have the wet/dry with the bio balls in it.

Anyhow, I walked to the store after work and they gave me some cheato. I spent tonight fishing all of the little pieces of the agar seaweed out of the tank and put the cheato in. The tang may not eat it, but they said it should help absorb nitrates and won't release any toxins when/if it dies.

I tried cutting strips of nori the way you suggested, Jon, but the tang still didn't eat it. Might he start eating it eventually when he gets hungry enough? Is there anything else I can do?
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-27-2010, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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I have good news and bad. The tang has started to go after nori when I put it in the tank, but it's also developed dark spots all over its body.
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